The Best Summer Sports for Kids

the best summer sports for kids

Are you looking for ways to keep your kids active during the summer? Summer sports for kids provide fantastic opportunities to keep them moving all year long.

Why Are Sports Important?

Youth sports are instrumental to childhood development as they provide opportunities for your kids to develop life skills, including trusting and encouraging others. Often the bonds and relationships formed in team sports will evolve into lifelong social connections. Many adults can fondly remember benefiting from good coaches who have taught them the value of discipline, teamwork, and overcoming obstacles.

In addition to the numerous mental benefits, including lower rates of anxiety and depression, the CDC touts the many physical benefits of sports. Children and adolescents who exercise regularly enjoy higher levels of cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones and muscles, and a lower risk of developing heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and obesity later in life.

Summer Sports for Kids Teamwork
Kids learn crucial life skills from sports, such as how to support one another.

What Is the Most Popular Youth Sport?

The answer to this question largely depends on where you live and who you ask. A 2021 survey by the Aspen Institute of kids 6-12 found that bicycling was the most popular youth sport nationwide, followed by basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and flag football. Of course, some of these sports, like flag football, tend to attract more boys.

Geography can play a huge role in which sports are popular in certain parts of the country. Summer sports for kids, like lacrosse or field hockey, might be extremely popular in certain cities and regions throughout the US but virtually non-existent in other places. So if you’re looking for sports that your kids can enjoy, ask other parents to see what’s popular in your area.

What Sports Can Your Kid Play in the Summer?

Technically, you can play any sport in the summer. Of course, sweltering heat or rain conditions might cause you to move your game inside! Whether you opt for an intensive sports camp, join a soccer team, or opt for unstructured summer sports, there are plenty of ways to stay active.

If you’re looking for some ways to keep your kids active, head over to your local park for a family bike ride or hike. Even if your kids don’t get excited about being on a swim team, splashing around the pool and playing games can be an amazing workout. Pickup games of basketball, tennis, soccer, or pickleball can be other fun summer sports for kids.

Families looking for more structured summer sports might want to look into recreational youth sports programs and local teams during the summer. Many reputable organizations, such as the YMCA, offer summer camps and leagues.

These summer sports programs are usually filled with scrimmages, training, and fun games during camp week. Some are overnight and have extra activities like interactive game nights. Others only offer day camps, which are ideal for younger kids or the more casual athlete.

Summer Sport for Kids Bike Riding
Bike riding is not only a great family activity but increases your physical stamina.

Preparing for Sports Camps and Leagues

Do your research and find out camp specifics before signing your kid up for sports camp. Are you looking for a program that will separate athletes according to skill level or an all-around camp where everyone plays together? Do you need immunization records or athletic physicals at the time of registration?

Is the camp tuition what’s listed on the website, or do you need to prepare to pay extra camp fees? Camp tuition usually covers overhead costs, including coaching staff, food, and onsite clinics, but you might need extra money for snacks or extra treats.

Previous campers and their parents can be the best source of information here, so take advantage of your friends and family members. Find out what the camps are really like, and how other kids enjoyed them.

Tip: Make sure to look into summer camps and leagues as soon as possible. A few of the most competitive ones will fill up in the fall, so be on the lookout when it comes to camp sign-ups. You can often save money the earlier you sign up.

What Are the Most Popular Summer Sports?

While more kids are biking than any other sport, here are a few favorite summer sports. Whether you’re casually trying out kids classes, going to summer sports camp, or your kids are playing in a competitive youth sports league, here are a few favorite activities.


America’s National Pastime remains extremely popular with kids! So take them to a ball game, enroll them in a clinic or camp, or just grab a mitt and play catch in the backyard! If you have a budding math whiz, you could compare player stats and evaluate probabilities by watching a game on TV. There are infinite ways to incorporate this classic sport into your summer activities.


Whether on a local soccer team or in a training camp, the sport will help your kids be physically active and improve their cardiovascular health. If you live near the beach, try sand soccer. You can also bring your soccer ball to the neighborhood park and enjoy a quick pickup game.

Summer Sports for Kids Soccer
Soccer teams help develop endurance and friendships.


Basketball fosters teamwork while also increasing hand-eye coordination. Most neighborhoods have a basketball court nearby, which makes it easy for your kids to start playing pick-up games with their friends. If you don’t live in or near a neighborhood with a court, consider buying a garage-mounted basketball hoop for hours of fun.

Summer Sports for Kids Basketball
Basketball can be played over the summer through a camp or with some friends at a local court.


Volleyball encourages a healthy lifestyle because of its quick full-body movements and workouts. So grab a ball and start learning to pass it back and forth with your kids. Once you both get good at that, you can start adding more and more people, and before you know it, you can start inviting friends over for friendly contests!

As much as we love volleyball, it’s not usually the best option for younger kids. So don’t be discouraged if your 5-year-old doesn’t seem to be the next volleyball star. You can either use the ball to play catch or kick it around on the ground for modified soccer.

Summer Sports for Kids Volleyball
Volleyball is a lot of fun for two or with a group.


Few things are more refreshing than jumping into the pool on a hot summer day! Not only is swimming one of the most fun summer sports for kids, but it’s also a valuable lifetime sport. Being a strong swimmer could even save your child’s life one day. If you don’t have the luxury of having a pool in your backyard, don’t sweat it! Head to a local pond, the beach, a rec center, or a community pool and start developing your kid’s swimming skills.

Summer Sports for Kids Swimming
Photo by @merschoolsa

What Are Some Summer Sports for Kids in Virginia Beach?

If you live near Virginia Beach, then you are in luck! There are a number of youth sports leagues in the area for numerous sports. Some offer just training, while others offer athletes the opportunity to participate in competitive contests.

Here are some of our favorites!

Amazing Athletes

Amazing Athletes offers summer programs for kids ages 18 months to 12 years old. The program introduces kids to ten different sports (soccer, hockey, volleyball, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, football, track and field, baseball, and golf). Parents can choose either single or multi-day camps.

Virginia Beach Sports Center

You can find youth basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball camps at Virginia Beach’s new state-of-the-art facility, The Virginia Beach Sports Center. Even if you’re not into sports, you can also experience some of their fun and unique summer camps, such as their Around the World in 5 Days camp, where kids explore sports from other nations, such as Cricket for South Africa and Hockey for Canada.

Summer Sports for Kids at the VA Beach Sports Center
Photo by @vbsportscenter

Cox Camps

Cox High School in Virginia Beach offers summer sports camps for kids between kindergarten to eighth grade in volleyball, wrestling, football, field hockey, lacrosse, baseball, gymnastics, tennis, and soccer. These sports take place during different weeks of the summer, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s available during different times.

Old Dominion Hitters Academy Baseball Camp

Your budding baseball player will thrive at Old Dominion University’s baseball camp for kids ages 7 to 13, run by Old Dominion’s baseball coach and team. This camp can help your kid’s catching, pitching, and hitting skills to remain strong during the off-season.

Nike Sports Camps

If you’re looking for an excellent sports camp, you might enjoy Nike’s international sports programs. They have one in nearly every state in the US., including football, baseball, cross country, dance, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and many more. In 2023, Nike’s Virginia soccer camp will be in Virginia Beach.


No matter which sports you’re interested in, chances are, you’ll find a great summer sports camp at your local YMCA. They’ve got lots of fun options, including golf camp, nerf camp and general summer activities camps. If your child really falls in love with a specific sport, they might also have an opportunity to play it yearlong in some of the YMCA’s sports leagues like soccer, basketball, or tee-ball.

Summer Sports for Kids Pickleball
Each local YMCA is different and offers varying sports programs for kids.

Play Ball!

Participating in summer sports can be an excellent way to get your kid physical activity and get them outside! Whether you’re going on family bike rides or signing your kids up for an intensive camp, you’re helping to strengthen their minds, bodies, and social skills.

So, play ball and get your kids enrolled in summer sports!

Does your kid play or compete in any summer sports? Share it with us on social using #getfamilyapp

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